With the world's oceans in crisis because of increasing pollution, acidification and over-fishing, the problem seems so large it can be daunting for any individual sailor. But there ARE things you can do, and here Katie Jewett, writing for Sailors for the Sea, tells:
What can a single sailor do? - The answer is, a lot!
1. You can always provision your boat with local produce. Make sure that you are not buying produce that had to be shipped across an ocean to get to you.
2. Divide your rubbish onboard, take it home to be composted or recycled. Use plastic as little as possible and never never let it risk going overboard.
3. Use diesel as little as possible or, if you can, convert to bio fuels.
4. Conserve water with foot-pedal sinks and dish washing.
5. Eliminate use of toxic bottom paints.
6. Prevent any dumping of waste or gray water overboard.
7. Learn more about the problems facing your local area and many bodies of water, by reading about ocean acidification, low oxygen levels, and plastics in the ocean.
8. Find and join a local ocean conservation group and/or Sailors for the Sea to see how you can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Each one of these can be said and read quite quickly, but each may involve a distinct change in life style.
As cruising sailors, we are spread across many of the countries of the world. The number of our yachts, world wide, is in the hundreds of thousands. Together, by example, we can achieve much.
Additional clean boating resources can be found here.